Vegan peanut noodles (3-4 servings)

This week's Vegan MoFo tribute is an Asian-inspired recipe based on Amanda's Thai Peanut noodles. It's probably not very "authentic," but who cares? It's delicious, and it's easy to make, and it proves that eating vegan can be both easy and inexpensive. I say hooray for that.

You will need:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 6 oz dried noodles (Make sure they don't contain egg or milk ingredients; I used organic udon noodles)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup edamame (soybeans) removed from shell
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp grated ginger root
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp natural peanut butter (I used smooth)

Steps:

  1. Start a pot of water boiling for the noodles. While you're waiting for the water to boil (I swear I spend half of my culinary life on this step) keep yourself busy by toasting the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until they darken a little and start to stick together. Then remove them from the heat and set aside.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions. (I had to simmer the udon noodles for 5-6 minutes.) Add the broccoli and soybeans to the boiling water for the last 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles, broccoli, and soybeans. Set aside.
  3. While those ingredients are cooling, spritz a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat it over medium-high. Cook and stir the garlic for one minute. Add the red pepper flakes, ginger, sugar, and carrot; cook and stir another minute.
  4. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and peanut butter to the skillet. (You might need to use a whisk to get the peanut butter nice and liquidy.) When the sauce begins to boil, add in the noodles, broccoli, and soybeans and mix quickly with a pair of tongs. Transfer to a plate and top with toasted sesame seeds to serve.

This recipe came together quickly -- so quickly, in fact, that I almost wasn't ready for it. I think I overcooked the sauce a little bit because it got clumpier than I'd have liked. It still tasted fine, but I wasn't totally happy with the texture. Next time I might reserve a bit of the cooking water from the noodles to thin out the sauce, if necessary. I think I'd also add a dash of dark sesame oil at the end for a better toasty flavor. All in all, I was very happy with this though, and Bryan loved it. I think he would have finished it himself if I hadn't reminded him that we need leftovers for lunch tomorrow! I served it at room temperature, but you can wait until it's cooler or even chill it in the fridge if you prefer. Either way, it's quick and delicious!